Richard Finch fired three birdies and an eagle on the back nine to surge into the lead in the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried.
The Englishman began his round on the 10th, and followed a birdie on the 11th and 15th with a bogey at the 16th.
However, he topped that in the second half of his first round in a sodden Munich, birdying the first before following a 22-foot eagle putt on the sixth by holing birdie attempts from 35 and 18 feet at the seventh and ninth to finish with a six under par 66.
A bogey on the fifth could not prevent him taking a one stroke lead into the clubhouse, with Scotland’s Andrew Coltart, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy – Coltart's playing partner – and Phillip Price of Wales, who birdied the last two holes, one shot adrift.
“It went real well and it was nice to finish with a birdie on nine, my last hole, as well,” said Finch. "I feel like I've been playing okay, but it's not quite been happening, so it’s nice to get off to a good start this week.
“The course has held up really well considering the greens. The course is in good condition and I played quite nice and solid and steady.”
Coltart failed to qualify for the French Open on Tuesday, but he was among the early pace-setters today.
"I didn't even get close to making the French Open, I don't have an invite for the Scottish Open either and I'm already booked into do radio again in The Open next month, so I'm obviously delighted with that round," said the 39-year-old.
He was one over after five holes, but birdied the long sixth and then roared home in a five under 31.
Six players – Rafa Echenique, Oliver Fisher, Soren Kjeldsen, Paul McGinley, Henrik Stenson and Alvaro Velasco, who shared top spot until finishing with a bogey six – carded four under par 67s to share fifth place.
Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie, Rory McIlroy, Bernhard Langer and Retief Goosen were among the later starters.
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